Witnesses observed the Cessna 150 as it departed the airport near Topping, Va., and reported that it appeared to have trouble climbing.
It returned to the runway two times, but the pilot aborted the landing approach both times.
During the climbout following the second aborted landing, the airplane banked to the left, descended in a nose-low attitude, and hit the ground, killing both people on board.
Witness descriptions of the descent and observations of the wreckage and accident site were consistent with the pilot flying the airplane beyond its critical angle of attack, which resulted in the airplane entering an aerodynamic stall/spin.
Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Toxicology testing identified a prescription antidepressant and its metabolite, as well as a prescription drug used to treat hypertension in the pilot’s liver and blood. These medications are unlikely to have contributed to the accident.
Calculations of the airplane’s weight and balance at the time of the accident showed that it was likely loaded just below or slightly in excess of its maximum gross weight.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin.
NTSB Identification: ERA14FA328
This July 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.